QUINCY — Jeff Remington’s 6-year-old son, Noah, noticed the gun case leaning against the cabinet near the garage door and became instantaneously curious.
“Is it time to go hunting?” he asked.
Not yet, but it was time to get prepped, which is why the Ruger .22 rifle was in the hard travel case. Remington made plans to meet a friend at his property in northern Adams County so they could sight in their rifles, and Noah hoped he’d get to tag along.
“I want to teach him everything about the outdoors,” Remington said. “Learning to hunt isn’t just about the hunt. It’s about getting ready and taking care of your gear and your harvests afterwards. So of course I was taking him with me.”
They stopped to pick up some necessary supplies — coffee, milk and donuts — then took the 25-minute drive to his friend’s farm.
That’s when the flood of questions began.
“Why aren’t we hunting today?” Noah asked.
Hunting season hasn’t opened yet was the response.
“Why not?” Noah asked.
There are certain days set aside to hunt different animals. You have to hunt within those timeframes.
“So what can we hunt right now?” Noah asked.
Nothing until August 1 when the Illinois squirrel season opens.
“We get to kill squirrels?” Noah asked emphatically.
His dad told him once the season opens they will go squirrel hunting together.
That day has finally arrived.
Monday is the unofficial start of the hunting season. Frog hunting began a month ago, but the start of squirrel season signifies the opportunity to hunt and harvest bigger game is coming. September 1 marks the beginning of dove season with the archery deer season coming October 1 and duck season later that month.
Squirrel hunting regulations allow for harvesting to take place one half-hour before sunrise until one half-hour after sunset. The daily limit is five squirrels and the possession limit is 10.
“I’m really looking forward to going duck and deer hunting,” Remington said. “But taking Noah squirrel hunting is easier. We take a walk in the woods and there’s less stress and less worry. It’s a good way to teach him about safety and ethical practices.
“More than anything, it’s a great way to spend time together. Isn’t that the best lesson we can teach our kids, to embrace time spent with each other and not let those moments get away?”
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